By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With momentum building over recent years, so has the excitement for the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team. With the 2021-22 campaign approaching, Tech women's head coach Kim Rosamond spoke to the assembly at the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce's monthly Breakfast Before Hours event to drum up support for this new year.
"I am really, really excited about this season," Rosamond said. "This is the team we have been building toward for the last five seasons and I'm really excited about the group that is coming back. We have a bigger roster than we've ever had with 16 players, which is interesting in practice, but also a very big positive. We have a lot of experience back."
During her presentation, Rosamond called on her four elder statesmen on the roster – Kesha Brady, Jordan Brock, Megan Clark and Mackenzie Coleman – who all chose to take the extra year of eligibility granted to them in effect from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have four bonus seniors," Rosamond said. "I say bonus, because it really was a gift. There's only been one season for us at Tennessee Tech where we didn't have this crew, so this is a very special group. They have chosen to come back, to commit to Tech and spend a fifth year with us. That's a lot of points, a lot of awards and a lot of experience."
It truly is – Brock topped assistant coach Allison Clark as the program's all-time 3-point record holder, Brady, Brock and Coleman are the 31st, 32nd and 33rd Golden Eagle players to reach the 1,000-point mark in program history and several All-Ohio Valley Conference accolades have been shared among the group.
"If you all had a chance to see us last season, you know how much of a difference Anna makes on the floor," Rosamond said. "Grace has been a great addition to our program. If you want to talk about one of the hardest workers and best teammates. Because of her hard work and dedication, she was just awarded a scholarship for this upcoming season. We also have a talented group of underclassmen and we have four newcomers that we are really excited about."
It's certainly not going to be an easy schedule for the Tech women, starting with games against Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt and a certain orange-and-white-clad team in Knoxville that a few fans might be familiar with in the Tennessee Lady Vols.
"Our non-conference schedule, you can look at it one of two ways," Rosamond said. "One, Coach, you just lost your mind, or two, dang, she has a lot of confidence in her team. We're going with the latter, because I do. I have a lot of confidence in our team this year. It is, by far, the toughest non-conference schedule that we've had, but this is also the best team we have had here in a long, long time.
"We haven't hung a banner for winning an OVC Tournament in 21 years. For those of you sitting in here, that's hard to believe, isn't it? That's where Tennessee Tech women's basketball has always been. I don't back down from it and this is this team's goal – this year."
That expectation comes with some evidence to back it up.
"We're coming off of three consecutive winning seasons. We just finished this past season by tying our most conference wins in over a decade. With a lot of experience coming back, our expectations are high. It took us a few seasons to figure out how to be winners, now this is the year to figure out how to be THE winners. We've made it to the OVC semifinals two of the last three seasons and this is a team that will have the opportunity to cut down the nets in March.
"These girls that came back, they came back for a lot of reasons. They love Tennessee Tech, they love this community, but they came back to win a championship. We don't run away from that at all."
Rosamond pleaded to the crowd in attendance, "To make that happen, we need you all. If you have not bought your season tickets, please do. It is going to be a lot of fun in the Hooper Eblen Center this season and we need you there."
The Tennessee Tech basketball teams will host an exhibition doubleheader on October 28th, with the Golden Eagle women hosting Christian Brothers. On the 30th, the Tech women will host their Biscuits and Basketball open practice and Maintain the Tradition fundraiser events, before opening the regular season on November 9 against Bethel.
Season tickets are on sale now – call (931) 372-3940, visit the Eblen Center ticket office or visit TTUsports.com to order.
Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information